I have been pondering this issue and thought I would ask the forum, as there are some Latin scholars amongst the readers.
My question is about the name Pterodroma magentae (Giglioli & Salvadori, 1869)
The OD is here.
It is clear that the honoree in the name is the Italian man-o-war The Magenta.
A simplified understanding of the ICZN code would be that an -ae ending signifies honouring a female. So for a while, I assumed that the spelling of this name was such to honour the ship Magenta because ships in English are feminine and the gender of the Latin word for “ship” — Navis — is feminine.
The Magenta, by the way, was named after the 1859 Battle of Magenta. There was considerable confusion in the early 20th century when it was mistakenly believed that Magenta Petrels were so named because they were purple!
But then I learned that warships in German, Spanish (and I think Italian) are actually masculine.
But then I discovered the ICZN code 31.1.1:
A species-group name, if a noun in the genitive case formed from a personal name that is Latin, or from a modern personal name that is or has been latinized, is to be formed in accordance with the rules of Latin grammar.
and the example they give is
"Nicolaus Poda, even though the name of a man, if accepted as a Latin name, gives podae"
So my question is: does the forum agree that Giglioli & Salvadori were using the rules of Latin grammar when they coined the name - or was it an anthropomorphic signification of a ship as feminine?? As a corollary are there examples of ships being considered feminine in Bird Etymology?